Weekend Warm-Up: Eclipse

In 2015, Canadian photographer Reuben Krabbe traveled to the far northern Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard to capture skiers against a solar eclipse. The project was audacious, to say the least — the slightest problem with the weather, skiers, or equipment during the two-and-a-half-minute eclipse would result in failure.

Most expeditions to Svalbard start late April, but the eclipse was on March 20, so Krabbe and his team had to operate when the pale arctic sun hung low and feebly on the horizon. Temperatures sometimes dropped to minus 40°C.

The athletes — Chris Ruebens, Cody Townsend and Brody Leven — hiked up the ridgeline while Krabbe set up his equipment 1.5 kilometers away.

Everything came together for the shot, which Krabbe said was “was more beautiful and more awe-inspiring than we anticipated.”

The movie runs below, with the key shot around the 27-minute mark. As for the identity of the skier in the eclipse? “We don’t actually know which skier is in the main shot,” said Krabbe. “We’re sort of happy with leaving it at that.”